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…others are headed for Africa Junior Championship
The Maun BDF Athletics Club has sent a total of 19 athletes to participate at the FNB Botswana Golden Grand Prix, a World Continental Tour Gold Track and Field competition set for Gaborone tomorrow.
The inaugural competition is expected to bring together the world’s top elite athletes to compete at the national stadium including the likes of Candice McLeod(400m/women) from Jamaica and the World Bronze medallist and Diamond League final winner(800m/women) Mary Moraa from Kenya, to mention but a few.
From the Maun BDF Athletics Club, the athletes who have been invited to participate at the event are Leungo Scotch (400m/male), Bayapo Ndori (400m/male), Anthony Pesela (200m/male), Thomphang Basele (400m/female), Winnie Sarefo (200m/female), Kemorena Tisang (400MH/male), Victor Ntweng (400MH/male), Tsegofatso Bojosi (long jump/female) and Chedza Majore (long jump/female).
This also include, Obakeng Kamberuka (400 m/female), Stensol Sibanda (200m/male), Kethobogile Haingura (1500 m,800m/male) ,Boitshepho Kelapile (100m, 200m/female), Lebitso Mokorofu (200m/female), Trust Rebabedi (400m/male), Gosego Satheba (200m/female), Matshidiso Kayira (800m/female), Gaolape Senyama (800m/female) and Larona Mayana (100m, 200m/male).
In an interview, the athletes’ coach, Meleko Ndolo appreciated the invitation noting that it is such a great honour and history made for his athletes to have been given the opportunity to compete with world’s top athletes.
He is delighted that the athletes will gain experience and exposure indicating that it will be the first time for some of the selected athletes to compete at the event.
“In continental tour of gold status athletes benefit a lot in terms of experience and even the money won is a bit high,” Ndolo told Times Sport. The athletes he added can’t wait to compete at the competitions and probably qualify for the World Championship billed for Budapest, Hungary in August this year.
The FNB Botswana Golden Prix, known to be the biggest athletic event to be held in Southern Africa, came after Botswana was given a three year contract by World Athletics to Host Continental Tour Gold event last year. The event was formerly known as Gaborone International Meet (GIM) and it is spearheaded by local athletics hero, Glody Dube who was also the first Motswana to reach the finals in the Olympics.
Meanwhile, three athletes from the Maun BDF Athletics Club, Abofelo Leitseng (100m/200m), Kelebonye Otela (200m/400m) and Tshepo Percy (shot put) are among the 51 from the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) who will be representing Botswana at the Under 18/20 Africa Junior Championship to be held in Ndola, Zambia from the 29th April to 3rd May 2023.
The athletes will participate in different track and field events that include shot put, high jump, long jump, 400m, 200m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m, and 5000m,the middle relay,4*4 relay,4*1 relay and 4*4 mixed relay.
In an interview, the Under 20 National Team (Sprints and Hurdles) Coach Nico Manyepedza said that they are expecting a lot from the athletes more especially in 400m looking at the fact that they have some of the athletes in that category who have recorded very good times in different recent local and international competitions.
“We are going to the competition not just to compete but to also bring home some medals, we have done that in Malawi last season where people expected less from us but we brought lot of medals from there, we are going to fight again because we have too much trust in our young stars,” he said.